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Title: Development of Toroidal Core Transformers

The original objective of this project was to design, build and test a few prototypes of single-phase dry-type distribution transformers of 25 kVA, 2.4 kV primary to 120 V transformers using cores made of a continuous steel strip shaped like a doughnut (toroid). At different points during the development of the project, the scope was enhanced to include the more practical case of a 25 kVA transformer for a 13.8 kV primary system voltage. Later, the scope was further expanded to design and build a 50 kVA unit to transformer voltage from 7.62 kV to 2x120 V. This is a common transformer used by Con Edison of New York and they are willing to test it in the field. The project officially started in September 2009 and ended in May 2014. The progress was reported periodically to DOE in eighteen quarterly reports. A Continuation Application was submitted to DOE in June 2010. In May 2011 we have requested a non-cost extension of the project. In December 2011, the Statement of Project Objectives (SOPO) was updated to reflect the real conditions and situation of the project as of 2011. A second Continuation Application was made and funding was approved in 2013more » by DOE and the end date was extended to May 2014. The technical challenges that were overcome in this project include: the development of the technology to pass the impulse tests, derive a model for the thermal performance, produce a sound mechanical design, and estimate the inrush current. However, the greatest challenge that we faced during the development of the project was the complications of procuring the necessary parts and materials to build the transformers. The actual manufacturing process is relatively fast, but getting all parts together is a very lengthy process. The main products of this project are two prototypes of toroidal distribution transformers of 7.62 kV (to be used in a 13.8 kV system) to 2x120 V secondary (standard utilization voltage); one is rated at 25 kVA and the other at 50 kVA. The 25 kVA transformer passed the impulse test in KEMA high-voltage laboratories. Additional products include: nine papers published in the IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, one patent has been filed, three PhD students were supported from beginning to graduation, five postdoctoral fellows, and three MSc students were partially supported. The electrical characteristics of our dry-type toroidal transformers are similar to those of the oil-immersed pole mounted transformers currently in use by many utilities, but toroids have higher efficiency. The no-load losses of the 50 kVA prototype are only 45 W. A standard transformer has no-load losses between 90 and 240 W. Thus, even the finest transformer built today with standard technology has double the amount of no-load losses than the prototype toroidal transformer. When the manufacturing process is prepared for mass production, the cost of a dry-type toroidal transformer would be similar to the price of an oil-filed standard design. However, because of the greatly reduced losses, the total ownership cost of a toroidal transformer could be about half of a traditional design. We got a grant from Power Bridge NY in the amount of $149,985 from June 2014 to May 2015 to continue developing the transformer with commercialization objectives. We are considering the possibility to incorporate a company to manufacture the transformers and have contacted investors. The current status of the real life testing is as follows: after several months of silence, Con Edison has re-started conversations and has shown willingness to test the transformer. Other companies, PSE&G and National Grid have recently also shown interest and we will present our product to them soon.« less
  1. New York Univ. (NYU), Brooklyn, NY (United States). Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
81.122; OE 12.09
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
New York Univ. (NYU), Brooklyn, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE)
Country of Publication:
United States